You can make a difference in climate change
- Greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and others) trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere.
- Since the Industrial Revolution, human activities have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide by 30%, nitrous oxide by 15% and methane by 100%.
- Global climate change can take many forms. As the overall surface temperature of the Earth increases, other weather changes will also occur, including an increase in the number and severity of hurricanes.
- In many areas, extended droughts, floods and rising sea level will make survival itself very difficult. While the exact results of global climate change are unclear, it is certain that this is an immediate threat that cannot simply be ignored.
- Solving the problem of global climate change will require action on all levels: from individuals at the local level to the national and international community.
- Individual/local action is often the area where immediate change can most easily be achieved. Below are some manageable activities to combat global warming locally.
For more information:
USEPA Global Warming - Climate: http://yosemite.epa.gov/OAR/globalwarming.nsf/content/Climate.html
Energy Information Administration - Greenhouse Gases, Climate Change, and Energy: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html
G.R.E.A.T. Activities for Individual Action
G-Gardening R-Recycling E-Energy use A-Aquatic (water use) T-Transportation
These GREAT activities positively impact the environment and save you money!
Plant trees; increase "natural areas"; strive to have a "sustainable yard;" retain plant cuttings / leaves on-site and compost them; plant bird and butterfly-friendly gardens.
Recycle glass, metal, newspapers, cardboard, and plastic. Compost leaves, yard waste / table scraps (non-meat only). Purchase items containing recycled materials. Re-use and recycle other items whenever possible.
Have an energy audit done on your home; insulate your home; reduce energy use whenever possible; turn out the lights when you leave a room; when replacing appliances purchase more efficient ones that use less energy, such as Energy Star appliances; replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
Use rain barrels in the yard; install water efficient toilets and low-flow showerheads; use water responsibly. Energy Star dishwashers and washing machines use less water as well as saving energy.
When possible, walk or bike rather than drive to reduce car usage; try to drive smoothly using moderate speeds; give your vehicle frequent check ups; when replacing it, consider fuel efficiency and hybrid vehicles.
Local Government Actions
- Encourage sustainable organic gardening
- Increase recycling effort
- Encourage energy audits and energy saving practices
- Redesign long-range plans with energy saving in mind
- Promote efficient and effective public transportation (bus/rail)
- Add bike paths to as many roads as possible
- Support Ecological Building Initiatives
- Encourage Renewable Portfolio Standards
A Sample Petition for Addressing Global Climate Change on the Local Level
We, the undersigned, call on the___________________ (insert name of your local governmental body) to address the issue of Climate Change. This phenomenon and the associated climate change can have a potential negative impact on our way of life and our actions accelerate this negative change.
In 2004, a group of religious leaders and scientists stated, "…Global climate change presents an unprecedented threat to the integrity of life on earth, and a challenge to the universal values that bind us as human beings" (The Washington Post, 5-20-04)
We advocate forming a Global Climate Change Task Force to focus on all aspects of this issue. The Task Force would serve to advise the _________________ (your local governmental body) and the community.
The Task Force would be composed of persons from a wide spectrum of society including the scientific, environmental, educational, spiritual and business communities as well as lay persons. Those on the Task Force should be persons who see global warming as a real problem and a challenge. They should seek ways to better understand and slow global warming by creating enlightened public policies and encouraging citizens to take individual actions to reduce it.
A recent survey found that "more than 3 out of 4 Americans think the Federal Government is not doing enough to address global warming… More than 4 out of 5 Americans support efforts by state and local officials to curb global warming…" (from "Global Warming & Alternative Energy: A Leadership Survey" commissioned by the Civil Society Institute and 40MPG.org, March 15, 2006)
We are aware that the ________________ (your local governmental body) may already have some programs that work to reduce global climate change, however there is a need to create a comprehensive effort, and to provide incentives for implementation.
Signers of this petition who are willing to work on such a Task Force are placing an asterisk (*) before our names. We here include our Name, State, Zipcode, e-mail address, and Phone number.
See what some state and local action plans and task forces are already doing to help get you started in your area: